Earthquake and Tsunami Devastates Northeastern Japan
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku, often referred to in Japan as Higashi Nihon Dai Jishin and also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the 3.11 Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.03 undersea mega-thrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately 70 kilometers (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypo-center at an underwater depth of approximately 30 km (19 mi). It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 meters (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku's Iwate Prefecture, and which, in the Sendai area, traveled up to 10 km (6 mi) inland. The earthquake moved Honshu (the main island of Japan) 2.4 m (8 ft) east and shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in).
On 12 September 2012, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,883 deaths, 6,143 injured, and 2,681 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 129,225 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 254,204 buildings 'half collapsed', and another 691,766 buildings partially damaged. The earthquake and tsunami also caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan." Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water.
The tsunami caused nuclear accidents, primarily the level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents. Many electrical generators were taken down, and at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions due to hydrogen gas that had built up within their outer containment buildings after cooling system failure. Residents within a 20 km (12 mi) radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and a 10 km (6.2 mi) radius of the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant were evacuated. In addition, the U.S. recommended that its citizens evacuate up to 80 km (50 mi) of the plant.
Early estimates placed insured losses from the earthquake alone at US $14.5 to $34.6 billion. The Bank of Japan offered ¥15 trillion (US $183 billion) to the banking system on 14 March in an effort to normalize market conditions. The World Bank's estimated economic cost was US $235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in world history.
DONATING TO THE RELIEF EFFORT
We ask that, in the spirit of peace, joy and charity, you please join us in making a contribution to help support the people in Japan who need our assistance more than ever. No contribution is too small, and we can assure you that 100% of your tax-deductible donation will go directly to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donations can be made on-line by clicking on the donation button below.
If you would like to send your donation by mail, please make checks payable to the JASG and mark “Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund” on the memo line. Please also include a completed Donation Form with your check.
The Japan-America Society of Georgia extends its heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to the people of Japan who have been affected by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. We know your prayers and thoughts are also with the people of Japan at this time of tragedy.
The Japanese government immediately set up a disaster headquarters, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the helm, and has launched a full scale disaster response in collaboration with local authorities, focusing on assisting and rescuing victims, and is exhausting all efforts to ensure the rapid resumption of the lives and economic activities of the Japanese people. Currently the government and the local authorities in the disaster areas are working to assess the damage, but it is expected to take some time to precisely ascertain the damage.
For inquiries to the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta regarding the earthquake, please use their office’s contact information, listed below.
Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta
Phipps Tower, Suite 850
3438 Peachtree Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30326
ジョージア日米協会では、皆様から東日本大震災の義援金を募り、ここにお願いをする次第です。義援金は１００％税金免除の対象になります。私どものサイトwww.jasgeorgia.org/eng/node/178 に行き献金をしていただくか、ＪＡＳＧ宛てに小切手をお送りくだり、“Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund” と明記してください。
Email us or call 404-842-1400 for more information.